2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R returns to sale, problem identified

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Kawasaki USA has just announced that the mysterious stop-sale on the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R will be lifted, identifying the previously-mysterious fault as residing in the intake valve springs. As stated when the not-a-recall was announced on December 11, the problem isn’t related to safety, performance or the modifications made to reduce power for the North American market. Instead, Kawasaki says there were fears the intake valves could seat improperly, impacting engine performance. Before the new superbike king of the hill goes back on-sale, all units will benefit from new camshafts, valve springs and spring retainers. Kawasaki isn’t naming a precise date, instead saying sales will resume in, “late January.” Full details below.

The press release follows:
IRVINE, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2010)—Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. today announced that the recent sales hold placed on the 2011 Ninja® ZX™-10R sportbike is expected to be lifted in late January and that sales of the highly-anticipated unit will resume as normal.

According to Kawasaki engineers, the proactive sales hold resulted from a finding that indicated possible surging of the intake valve spring when the unit is operated under unique riding conditions, such as on a racetrack.  The surge could cause the intake valve to seat improperly, resulting in poor engine performance.

The camshaft, valve springs, and spring retainers are being replaced to prevent the valves from surging, without affecting engine performance.

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee

    Man, I have to wait until late January to not buy this thing?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      But, but 197bhp!!!1!!

      • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee

        You could chop off the first digit and divide the remaining number in half and still have more power than both my bikes combined. What is it like to live in a world where 197 hp and 100+ mph in first gear isn’t sickening excess? You have to break, nay demolish the law to ever see the top of that power curve on public roads for even a moment before shifting into second.

        Earlier this year, I sold my 400 hp GTO for something I could more thoroughly rail on the streets (among other reasons) but even the Goat wasn’t as absurd a match for the road as these hyper bikes. Not even close. As a resident of planet Earth, I can’t fathom the appeal.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          On the road it’s more about the potential than the practice. But that’s why god invented race tracks. And Europe.

        • Kurt

          While you are absolutely correct, you are tilting at windmills, Mr. Quixote, and one man’s sickening excess is another man’s must have.

  • je

    Bring on the nitrous, extended swing arms and darwin…

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    I definitely want a bike with 27 more hp than my 3,100 lb hatchback. Not need. WANT.

  • Peter

    hmmm, spring surge is related to safety and performance. Spring surge can cause piston to valve contact as well as stupidly high seating velocities (imagine the valve hitting the seat 20 times harder than it is meant to…) this not only damages the valve but the valve then bounces about giving low compression. These things can cause engine failures, which of course are not at all related to safety or performance….

    Basically they designed it wrong.

  • Isaac

    I’d take a black one if I was going to buy a Kwacker. I’m still eyeing that gorgeous F3 that MV was ‘c–k teasing’ me with.

  • Isaac

    And we poor Yanks have to wait until twenty-f–king-twelve for it too.

  • Patrick

    Any word on specifically what engine mods have been added (or subtracted) from the North American model to reduce power?? …..and what would be required to negate said mods??

  • GuessWho

    The drop in HP and this recall. I got turned off. I’ll fix and keep my CBR.